John Thaw Initiative- Motherhood(s)

The John Thaw Initiative offers a platform for artists to take creative risks and achieve vital feedback with work still in development, without any financial pressure. Are you a writer interested in performing your own work? Or actor looking for an opportunity to mount your own show?

In direct response to essential global conversations around women’s reproductive rights, for the fourth and final instalment of the 2019 John Thaw Initiative, The Actors Centre are calling for submissions of works that explore the theme of motherhood, or rather Motherhood(s).

These stories can be personal. They may be political. They can be filled with love, hope and fear. They might stem from rage and anger. They can be filled with opportunities as well as limitations.

Your interpretation of motherhood can — and should be — entirely subjective. Historically, society has conflated the role of womanhood and motherhood, and with this season of work, they want to demythologise these socially solidified preconceptions.

Motherhood exists in terms of multiplicities and we are seeking work that disentangles binaries, such as ‘good/bad’, ‘natural/unnatural’ mother, to reveal multi-faceted, nuanced and contemporary representations that break free from idealised myths. They welcome work that showcases sheer unbridled love and joy, alongside work that may challenge the links between biological motherhood and maternal instinct.

They want to offer a season of work that engages with the boundless contemporary iterations of motherhoods to represent the role in all its complexity, subjectivity, possibility and impossibility.



  • The John Thaw Studio has very limited technical set up, and can only offer a short time to get-in and tech. As such, they are looking for work-in-progress pieces which do not rely heavily on tech, set, props or costume.
  • The season will run October – December 2019.
  • Each successful production will be allocated between 1 and 3 consecutive performance dates.
  • Please note that the Initiative takes place in the John Thaw Studio – NOT the Tristan Bates Theatre.
  • Each successful production will have access to the John Thaw Studio from 6pm on each of your performance dates. The performances will start at 8pm prompt. This gives you 2 hours to arrange the room, tech, warm up, etc.
  • Tickets will be priced at £7 Standard, £5 Concession. 45 tickets will be placed on sale per performance, with 5 held off-sale for comps.
  • Each company will be contracted by the Actors Centre.
  • Each company will be responsible for paying their cast & crew according to Equity Fringe Minimum guidelines.



  • There are no fees to take part in the Initiative – each production will operate on a 50/50 box office split deal.
  • Card charges of 3.8% + 20p per ticket will be deducted from your percentage.



10am on Friday 23rd August.

They will respond to all applicants by Friday 6th September at the latest.

Published on:
8 Aug 2019


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